On March 11th, Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving injured his left knee in a game versus the Indiana Pacers and missed the following five games. On March 24th, Irving underwent surgery to remove a tension wire in his left knee. The wire was installed in 2015 after Irving injured the knee during the NBA Finals. Although the surgery was minimal, he is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.
There is hope that Irving can return during the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Since Irving’s injury, the Celtics are 3-2, including wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. What does Irving’s injury mean to the Celtics going forward?
Kyrie Irving Injured: Impact Going Forward
The Offense Will Suffer
Irving leads the Celtics in scoring (24.4 points per game) and assists (5.1 per game). Also, Irving is the captain of the Celtics. Not having him on the floor will hurt the team’s offense. Irving is one of the best offensive players in the league; all other Celtics players do not average more than 14 points per game and as a result, the team will have to score points by committee. Not to mention Jaylen Brown, who is the second-leading scorer, is injured as well. The Celtics will have to rely on Al Horford and rookie Jayson Tatum to keep them afloat on offense. Irving’s injury also leaves a big hole at the point guard position. The Celtics do not have a player who can make plays offensively like Irving can.
The Celtics currently are the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. They are 4.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors, who are still playing at a high level. The Celtics only have 9 games remaining on their schedule. Although the Raptors have a harder remaining schedule, the Celtics cannot catch them without Irving. The Celtics will have to settle for second place. More than likely, they will likely face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. The Cavaliers are surging at the right time, winning five of their last six games.